Twin Cities Pride Week!
by Bradley Loiederman

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Happy Pride Week to all! It’s that time of year again to bring out the love and rainbows and show pride all throughout the Twin Cities! And with the recent tragedy that occurred in Orlando and the threat that took place in West Hollywood, it is more important than ever to go out and show the world that we’re not going anywhere. So whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or are an ally, come on out this week and show that love and acceptance will always prevail! And if you’re overwhelmed by all the events going on this week and weekend, don’t be alarmed! We at SIM have put together a little glimpse of some of the events that you sure don’t wanna miss.

How Love Won: The Fight For Marriage Equality In Minnesota

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Start out your pride weekend by checking out a documentary on the fight for marriage equality in Minnesota and the Vote No campaign. Minnesota is often seen as the state that started the domino effect of marriage equality, being the first state to reject a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the first state where legislatures passed the marriage equality bill. Watch the campaign unfold and experience the joy and terror that came along with the fight for marriage equality. The film costs $10 and will be showed at Saint Anthony Main Theater at 1pm, 5:10pm, and 7:20pm during the entire weekend.

Rihanna and Nicki’s Beach Party Featuring Naomi Smalls!

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If you’re looking for the perfect place to start your weekend right, you gotta check out the Rihanna and Nicki Beach Party at Rev Ultra Lounge! Not only will there be $5 reunion shots and $6 absolut cocktails, but Naomi Smalls from Ru Paul’s Drag Race will be performing! Now, I know what you’re thinking: a famous drag queen performing at a Hennepin club on Pride weekend must cost an arm and a leg. Guess again, it’s only $10 cover! The party starts at 9:30 and goes until 2, so make sure to stop on by and start your weekend right at one of the hottest (and least expensive) clubs around town!

The Pointer Sisters and Adore Delano at Pride in Concert

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Every year, Pride offers a series of concerts throughout the entire weekend, with Saturday’s Loring Park concert being the centerpiece of the series. And this year, the artists performing are not to be reckoned with! After winning three Grammies, gaining a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, being inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame, and achieving 13 US Top 20 hits, The Pointer Sisters will be returning to Minneapolis to bring the soul to Pride this year! And accompanying them with some high-energy drag love is drag queen and singer Adore Delano! Adore Delano was first seen by America as Danny Noriega on American Idol before finishing in the top three on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The concert goes from 6pm to 10pm and only costs $10, so make sure to check it out!

Pride Weekend at Union Rooftop

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Pride is one of the most fun weekends of the year, but it can get really pricy with drink prices and cover charges. So what do you do when you want to show your pride and party with the community but can’t afford it? Stop by Union Rooftop Friday and Saturday night, WHERE THERE IS NO COVER! That’s right, Union Rooftop on Hennepin is one of the only clubs around that has no cover for Pride! Ring in your pride weekend on Friday night with Australian DJ Dan Slater spinning under the rainbow sky. And if that’s not enough, come show your pride after the fireworks and dance the night away with Marcus Shadden! Not only is there no cover both nights, but there are drink specials going on all weekend thanks to Absolut vodka! And on Sunday, come to Union’s Bubbles & Bass brunch viewing event and watch the pride parade from one of the nicest rooftops on Hennepin! For only $10, you get one of the best views of the parade, a free cocktail brought to you by Absolut, DJ Shiek spinning all throughout the morning, and parade commentary from Lady Vajayjay! So if you’re looking for the place to be all of pride weekend, make sure to stop by Union Rooftop! For more information, check out Union’s Facebook page.

Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade

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This is definitely one of the main events of pride week: the 2016 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade on Sunday! Starting at 11am at Hennepin Avenue and 3rd Street, the pride parade is a conglomeration of businesses, organizations, and just proud people of Minnesota showing their pride as LGBTQIA+ members or allies. Floats, confetti, glitter, string, performers, and many more take the street and fill Hennepin Avenue with color and smiles! The parade goes from 3rd Street all the way down to Loring Park, meeting up with the pride festival. If you have never seen the pride parade before, I highly suggest you come out and show your pride at the parade this Sunday!

2016 Twin Cities Pride Festival

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If you’re looking for the other main event of pride week, here it is: the 44th Annual Twin Cities Pride Festival! Taking over all of Loring Park, the pride festival consists of vendors, organizations, artists, musicians, food trucks, etc. all gathered together to show their pride and give back to the LGBTQIA+ community! There are booths for everything: sex health and body positivity, support for LGBTQIA+ youth, arts and crafts, and many more! And the best part of the pride festival? It’s two days long! The festival starts Saturday at 10am and goes until Sunday at 6pm. The entire festival is completely free, and if you’re around Saturday night, check out the fireworks by the pond at 10pm! So make sure to stop on by the Twin Cities Pride Festival and be one of the over 400,000 people showing their pride this weekend!

Dildo Bingo

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Ending off the weekend of pride is one of my favorite events all year, Dildo Bingo! Sponsored by Smitten Kitten, Dildo Bingo is a benefit event where patrons play bingo and win sex toys. All the toys are donated by Smitten Kitten, and all the proceeds this year is going to RECLAIM!, an organization that works to increase access to mental and integrative health support for queer and trans youth. Bingo starts at 6pm on Sunday at Hell’s Kitchen, and each bingo card is only $5! So stop on by and play some benefit bingo for sex toys!

If you want to see all the events going on during pride weekend, check out the Twin Cities Pride website!